The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

How to get new honeybees

Bees building comb

It's best to have at least two hives of honeybees, so one of my goals for this year is to double the size of our apiary.  How exactly to do that has been an issue I've been pondering for months.  Here are your main options for getting new bees:

In the long run, our goal is for the apiary to be self-sustaining, but since we've only got one hive at the moment, paying for a new package this year makes sense.  Stay tuned for the big install next week!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Will you also put out a swarm attractant box?
Comment by Brian Sat May 4 13:33:03 2013
This is possibly a dumb question, though the only dumb questions are the ones you never ask. Is "chemical free" a hard thing to find? Is it likely that you'll get bees that have been sprayed with some chemicals or something? How's that work?
Comment by Stephen Sat May 4 16:06:09 2013

Brian --- The swarm attractant box is definitely going on the list. Let's hope I make time for it before the swarm! So, in a perfect world, we'll be going into fall with three hives.

Stephen --- The "chemical" part isn't that bees have been sprayed with chemicals, but that most honeybees in the U.S. have been raised with pharmaceuticals for so long that they can't survive without them. Specifically, varroa mites are so bad in the U.S. that most people treat their bees annually for mites as a matter of course. I should have linked to this post about chemical-free bees for more information.

Comment by anna Sat May 4 17:04:29 2013

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